Julia in Japan

The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.

— Dawson Trotman

Katakana was developed by monastery students, around the same time as hiragana, from parts of man’yōgana as a form of shorthand. At first, it was mostly used alongside Chinese by the male population. Today, kana is used on a day-to-day basis to write foreign words and names, animal names, for emphasis, and to illustrate some of the sounds in manga.

Cultural Note: Short history of katakana

Hiragana developed from cursive script style of man’yōgana sometime around 800 AD. It was initially not accepted by everyone and only gained popularity among educated women. For example, The Tale of Genji and other early novels by female authors used hiragana extensively or exclusively.

Later on, men started to use the new writing system for unofficial writing, but Chinese, and later a combination of Chinese and katakana, was still a standard for official documents. It is not until modern times that hiragana started to be used on par with katakana and kanji both in day-to-day life and formal texts.

Cultural Note: Short history of hiragana

THOUGHT: I like Hiragana the best. It’s so curvy and happy looking. な か ぞ や う ま ぬ ぷ

02 | writing system

Just looking at these symbols gives me a rush of excitement. I really do want to learn. Here comes kanji, hiragana, & katakana.

child 

お菓子

お・か・

sweets, candy

男の子

おとこ・の・

boy

女の子

おんな・の・

girl

子供

・ども

child

さようなら

goodbye

の日本語を学びましょう!

(Let’s Learn Japanese!)

It’s time to start my journey towards being more knowledgeable and cultural. I’ve decided the best path to beginning this journey is by thoroughly learning a new language. The first one I’m going to try is Japanese. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be bi-lingual? I chose Japanese because it’s always been a dream of mine to visit Japan and I’m in love with their sense of aesthetics and culture. Wish me luck!

次回まで!
(Until next time!)